Title: Connor's Gambit
Author: Z. Gottlieb
Publish Date: January 22, 2017
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Brad Johnson is the
lone witness to a UFO sighting. The sighting, while odd in itself, is
not the only incident that occurs that evening. The incident is followed
up with the alien targeting him and his family. The firefight with the
alien destroys everything Brad thought he knew about his family and
pulls him into an intergalactic battle between two space faring aliens.
Brad quickly finds himself leaving Earth struggling to understand his
role with the aliens on both sides of the conflict. One group threatens
Earth's security, the other group wants something from him. All Brad
wants to do is to survive and return home to his family, but not until
he embarks on the greatest adventure of his life."
My Two Cents:
"Connor's Gambit" is a sci fi story about a fairly ordinary man going on a very extraordinary adventure. Imagine this - you are a man married with a wife and a kid. You are close to your inlaws and although life is not particularly exciting, it is good. One day you find out that your wife, brother in law, and sister in law may be hiding a deep secret about where they came from and what they were put on earth to do. As Brad finds out, they're aliens on a top secret mission and they will take him on the best adventure of his life.
This book reminded me a lot of The Twilight Zone (still one of my very favorite series) where things at first seem very normal until everything gets turned on its head. Some of the best stories involve ordinary people put in interesting and unique situations. Everyman Brad finding himself suddenly on a super high tech spaceship with a bunch of aliens certainly counts as one of those scenes. Not only does Brad have to contend with his personal life (why would his beloved wife lie to him for so long? what does this mean for his young son? can he ever forgive his wife or his brother in law?)
The characters were great. I loved seeing how Brad confronts the difficulties that he is now facing as he tries to navigate his new lives with aliens. I really liked learning about what the aliens were doing on earth and why they felt that they needed to hide their true intentions from Brad. The story line unfolds nicely as the author puts everything together.
While the writing of the story line was good and will appeal to many, the way that the characters speak was slightly off. Even Brad, a native English speaker, spoke in a very stilted way. I could understand sort of why the aliens' speaking would be a little less natural although perhaps not with the way that the aliens essentially download information to include language in their heads (cool concept by the way!). The stilted language was a little distracting but overall, the story was quite good!